Sunday, June 6, 2010

Throughout the World, and Close to Home

We've had a lot going on recently. Dave traveled with his good friend, Rob to Peru for a week, and during that time, his parents made the long journey to South Africa for 2 weeks. I must admit, I was a little nervous to have so many of my favorite people out of the country at the same time, but my little buddies and I intentionally packed our days pretty full in order to keep busy and our minds off of the distance between us.

Rob and his wife, Nicole, own a local coffeeshop, and they just so happen to be friends with a U.S. diplomat residing in Peru, who knows some of the coffee plantation farmers. For a portion of their time, the guys stayed at one of the plantations, and had the opportunity to learn more about the farming process of coffee beans...I now have a much greater appreciation for my daily cup of coffee! In addition to hiking the vast countryside, they also went dune bugging and sandboarding (essentially the same as snowboarding, except on sand) on Peru's famous dunes, and tried every favorite Peruvian dish during their 7 days there. They had a great time, but I breathed a sigh of relief when they had their feet safely planted back in the States. I'll never forget watching Will's face when he spotted Dave coming off the plane...he literally sprinted to him and wrapped his arms around his sweet.

Dave & Rob in the Andes Mountains

This is the coffee plantation where they spent a few nights


a street vendor showing off some venomous snakes!

Coffee berries that Dave & Rob hand-picked.

Clean coffee beans drying in the sun...ready for the roasting process.


Upon Dave's and his parents' return, we had a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend at the cabin. I have such fond memories growing up at my family's lake house in Michigan, and am thrilled that our boys will have similar experiences. It gets more and more fun the older they get. Currently, Will & Graham's favorite activity while there is going for rides around the lake in the golf cart. Every Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day, the local volunteer firemen put on a pancake feed at the lake and Will thinks it's pretty cool meeting the firemen and climbing on their trucks and ambulance in the parking lot.

I was grateful to have a long holiday weekend with Dave following his trip, because he had to leave again on Tuesday morning for a work trip, and didn't return until Friday evening. After having those trips back-to-back, I observed firsthand how much children truly need a father figure. All-in-all, Will is a very sweet and obedient 3-year old boy, but he acted out and test me a lot more during the days that Dave was gone. I found myself praying for patience often, but more than anything it further cemented in my mind the importance of the father role in the family. And, I might add, it gave me a greater appreciation for widowed and single moms!

Kind of a random photo I threw in here, as it's a few weeks old, but Will was so proud of the painting he made for Grammy. He was also showing off his smoothie popsicle :)

our little gangsta'